Tasha Fouts received her BA from California State University at Long Beach and her MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University. Her work has previously appeared in Salt Hill, Bateau, and Little Red Leaves. She works and lives in suburban Illinois but still calls Alaska home because its wildness will always be in her heart.

Also by Tasha Fouts: Two Poems The Contagious Hospital

Tasha Fouts

This Life

The image: a paw clawing her stomach. The eggs. The sound: an open mouth. A mosquito sunk in mud. A fly, two reeds. Stones that never move. The image: rust on river floors. A basket of thrashes and clay. Her scales are everywhere. The sound: love of nails and flesh. The image: a paw. Eggs foaming from a mouth. The sound: the spill of a basket. A stomach of thrashes. Two reeds swallow a fly. The image: clay and mud, clay and flesh. Stones that will not move. The stab of rust. The image: a broken mosquito. The sound: A sturgeon’s love. The image: an empty basket, two reeds and a wing. The sound: the lull of rust and a palpus. A river floor rusting The image: placid. Scales everywhere. The sound: mud. The image: a stomach. No man. The sound: no mouth. The image: clay. The sound: flesh. The image: a stone overturned.

This poem began as a meditation on the inherent violence in the act of a bear feeding. A friend of mine had just returned from a bear-watching tour in Southeast Alaska and talked about how the bears were catching salmon, shaking them and then throwing them back in to the river. On rare occasion one would shake the salmon, swipe the belly of the fish and eat the row tossing the fish back to the river. While this was the impetus for the central image, the poem, I hope, moves beyond that to explore the tensions created by the coexistence of the beautiful pastoral and the truth of violence that arises from it.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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